“The analogy we use around here sometimes and is accurate is if a JV team puts on Laker uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.” – President Barack Obama to David Remnick on the threat posed by ISIS
Don’t look now Mr. President but the J.V. team just truncated one of our own.
Is the decapitated head of an American journalist somehow less revolting when viewed from the presidential seat in Golf Cart One?
If the White House Press Corps had one shred of integrity left, they would no longer entertain the farce that is the White House Press Briefing and only ask questions about the president’s golf game:
“Jake Tapper — CNN — Does the President think it was wise to lead with the 5 iron from the 4th tee into that strong of a crosswind?”
“Jonathan Karl — ABC — Was Alonzo Mourning able to keep up with the president’s short game or was he the reason that President Obama was nearly 45 minutes late to his Shiatsu appointment?”
“John Kirkwood – Clash Daily – What is more distracting to the President’s game –plotting racial division in Ferguson from the back nine or a decapitated American journalist?”
They say that President Obama’s first term was an “apology tour” but who would have predicted that his second term would be such a buzz-kill to his golf tour?
Following the news about the decapitation of James Foley, the President did voice a few prosaicisms from podium and teleprompter – words that were harshly criticized by even friendly observers. But who can fault him for rushing off stage and heading right to the War Room, better known as the Farm Neck Golf Club, to be briefed by world renowned terror expert, Alonzo Mourning?
We have a President that has said that America is no more exceptional than any other nation and he’s out to prove it from the 18th hole. If you wondered what the world would look like if “America” took a sabbatical, just look at Gaza, Mosul, and Ferguson, but be careful not to trip over the bodies and the carnage.
Let’s leave the politics aside for the moment and just address grave-side manner: Whom would you rather have console you at the casket of your dead hero son – Hillary Clinton who tells you that she’ll go after the guy who made the YouTube video even though she knows the video is just a cover story, Joe Biden who asks you, “Did your son always have balls the size of cue balls?,” or our Commander in Chief, Eddie Haskell, still in his cleats and golf glove with Golf Cart One following the hearse?
Unfortunately Mr. President, it’s hard to call a Mulligan when a man’s head has been cut off.
As for me, I’d take any of the previous presidents, Republican or Democrat, even President Clinton. Although I’m pretty sure that Bill would be looking to hit on the widow. “Mom, the meatloaf!”
I’m not sure what’s worse, the president showing up at your funeral or just pretending that you didn’t exist. A special delegation for Hugo Chavez but Margaret Thatcher, Chris Kyle, and Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene, not so much.
Oh, he did send a delegation to the Thatcher funeral – one that didn’t include even one senior member of his cabinet or for that matter any high ranking elected Democrat, though, he couldn’t miss a round of golf to honor the highest ranking officer killed in conflict since the Viet Nam War. As for the American sniper — why would President Obama honor some cowboy from Texas that killed so many of the Muslim Brotherhood?
From his first moment in office, the man who was to absolve America of the stain of racism and usher in a new era of racial harmony has stoked the flames of conflict like Don King promoting a Tyson fight.
Barack Obama never misses an opportunity to foment division, and race baiting is one of his old standards. As his Capo, Rahm Emanuel, once said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” And if you don’t have a good crisis, manufacture one. He tried with Henry Louis Gates and it backfired, then again with Trayvon Martin and it fizzled, but Ferguson, Missouri has been a fine show so far.
Will his blatant disdain for this country, his countrymen, and American foreign policy rise up to bite him in his Galvin Greens? I don’t think so. Americans can’t discern between nefarious Manchurian candidate and imbecile doofus. And golfing at inappropriate times leans toward the inept narrative, not the Homeland one.
I can’t say that any of this surprises me about Obama and his fellow Alinskyites, but what does shock me is that generals, statesmen, and the American people haven’t risen up and dragged him and the whole cabal to a Nuremberg hearing to be tried for treason.
Until more Americans wake up to who this president really is, we’ll be treated to even more defiant gestures that resemble a giant flip of the bird to Duty, Honor, and Country. And our Gomer-in-Chief will glean enough cover from the lap-dog press to get away with the “disengaged, trust-fund brat” alibi.
What else would you expect from an O.J. Simpson posing as a Kardashian?
For those of you who expected a lame-duck president to do less and less damage in his last few years, I have one word for you:
This article was originally posted at the ClashDaily.com website.
Elections matter. President Barack Obama proves it every day as he willfully seeks to wreck our nation. But this is very evident elsewhere, too. The 2010 elections reversed decades of Democrat majority control in state houses. Since then, GOP governors and legislatures all over the country have been restoring sanity to state government. Most Americans don’t know this of course, because the media won’t tell you.
One good example is North Carolina. Republicans took over the North Carolina legislature in 2010, and Charlotte’s popular Republican mayor, Pat McCrory, won the governor’s mansion in 2012. This gave the GOP full control of the state government for the first time since 1898. In 2013 Governor McCrory signed a new voter ID law, and a fairly strong Republican majority, willing to take political risks, took over leadership of the State Board of Elections (SBOE). The Democrats are having fits.
An interesting email received this week offers a window into how Democrats used to rig the voter game.
A History of Voter Fraud
Vote fraud has been a long-standing tradition in Democrat-controlled North Carolina. For example, in 2012 the Democrat-controlled NC State Board of Elections (SBOE) openly, blatantlyviolated state election law by partnering with the Obama administration in offering illegal online voter registration. The corruptadministration of Democratic Governor Beverly Purdue—who declined to seek a second term rather than face a certain punishing defeat by McCrory in 2012—did nothing.
Participating in Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s “Crosscheck” program, North Carolina’s new GOP-led SBOE matched 765 voters registered in both NC and another state with the exact name, DOB and last four digits of SSN of those who voted in both states in the 2012 election. They found a total of 35,750 matching with the exact name and DOB who voted in two states in 2012 (many states don’t provide SSN information). They also found 13,416 deceased voters on the voter rolls, some of whom have come back from the dead to vote.
Some of this will certainly wind up to be clerical errors, but elections officials believe that partisans regularly use out-of-date voter registrations of people who have died or left the state in order to vote multiple times. In so doing they are committing both vote fraud and identity theft. This is a strong case for effective voter ID laws and cleaning the voter rolls—which are in shambles nationwide.
The Eric Holder Justice Department has pointedly resisted such efforts, battling states that enact voter ID laws—including North Carolina—and even suing states that attempt to clean their rolls. The reader can judge why. Opponents to cleaning up the rolls claim they are fighting “minority voter suppression,” but following enactment of voter ID laws in NC minority voter participation in 2014 primaries spiked 29.5 percent.
Students at the historically black Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) have been captive votes for city Democrats for ages. They have literally been ordered by faculty to register and vote in Elizabeth City, whether they live there or not. Some former students have even continued to vote by absentee ballot using the college address while residing and voting in other states. In April, 2013, the county board of elections sustained 57 of 60 voter registration challenges. All voters listed ECSU as their residence.
North Carolina’s Voter Integrity Project (VIP) discovered hundreds of individuals registered to vote who declined jury duty because they claimed non-citizen status. If their non-citizen status is accurate, they committed a crime by registering to vote. More than half of them voted one or more times. VIP has identified 147 cases of double voting by NC residents who moved to Florida and managed to vote in both locations. VIP has also identified over 20,000 voters registered with false addresses. Some counties even allow voters to register with non-existent addresses. The SBOE is now following up. The former Democrat-controlled SBOE couldn’t be bothered.
The NAACP is predictably suing Governor Pat McCrory, and has subpoenaed VIP, Civitas Institute and the John Locke Foundation for all their records and lists of supporters in what is obviously an effort to intimidate and destroy the organizations. VIP Director Jay DeLancy noted with irony, “During America’s civil rights era, several Governors and Attorney Generals attempted to destroy the NAACP by demanding their membership records and then punishing their supporters. The Supreme Court banned the practice in 1964’s NAACP v. Alabama decision,” he said, “but today, the NAACP are trying to use that tactic against us—private citizens who worry about election integrity.”
A Curious Email
So now back to that email. It appears innocent enough. Nothing more than an announcement of an upcoming county board of elections meeting. It is addressed to various local news media, a few local activists, and Democracy NC. The activists’ names and emails have been deleted out of respect for their privacy.
The Bertie County Board of Elections will meet on Tuesday, August 12that 5pm at the Board of Elections Office at 210 W. Watson Street for a regular monthly meeting.
Sheila Holloman Director
Bertie County Board of Elections
PO Box 312
Windsor, NC 27983
E-mail: email@example.com Ph: 252.794.5306
Conspicuously absent from that email are any GOP organizations or individuals who might want to participate in the process. There is nothing stopping Republicans from attending, but for some reason they are not on the list. So while the GOP has taken over the government in Raleigh, locally, many election board meetings are still packed with Democrats and their media supporters. Local activists might want to fix that.
North Carolina’s Blueprint
Democracy NC is a large leftist activist organization that gets a lot of money from George Soros. The organization dominates state politics. Members attend every county board of elections meeting in the state, and in the past were able to browbeat election boards into accepting Democracy NC-selected locations for early voting. These were, of course, always in areas with democratic, usually minority, populations. As a result, Democrats have been able to take much more advantage of early voting and have shaped their campaigns around it.
Emails uncovered by NC Civitas, a think tank in Raleigh, found extensive coordination between Democracy NC’s Director, Bob Hall, Gary Bartlett, the (former) SBOE Chairman, and NC’s media establishment, who all work together in a coordinated effort to rig the elections and vilify political opposition in the press. Sound familiar? Here are a few goals outlined in a leaked strategy memo of Blueprint North Carolina, a notorious leftist umbrella group of non-profits, activists and media organizations that includes Democracy NC and many others:
“Crippling their leaders ([Gov.] McCrory, [House Speaker] Tillis, [Senate President Pro Tem] Berger etc.).” (Tillis is now in a close race for the U.S. Senate with Democrat Kay Hagan. Ed.)
“Eviscerate the leadership and weaken their ability to govern.”
“Pressure McCrory at every public event.”
“Private investigators and investigative reporting, especially in the executive branch. …”
“Organizers focus on year round voter registration. …”
Blueprint NC is simply North Carolina’s application of the Democrats’ Blueprint, a nationwide strategy using the same smear tactics. It was originally developed in Colorado to turn the state blue using the vast funding of a few ultra-partisan leftist billionaires. Their example birthed Democracy Alliance, a secretive group of billionaires dedicated to pushing America into the socialist camp. Anyone who cares about America’s future, but is unfamiliar with Blueprint or DA, is well advised to bone up.
North Carolina’s Constellation of Leftist Non-profits
NC Democrats are still vilifying, but HB 589, the Voter Information Verification Act (VIVA) voter ID law passed in 2013, really messed up their game. In addition to requiring photo voter ID, which will make all the forms of vote fraud described earlier much more difficult, the law abolished same-day registration and voting, reduced early voting from 17 to 10 days, and added some obscure but very meaningful provisions.
As a price for passing the legislation, Democrats demanded that while early voting days could be reduced to 10, the number of hours couldn’t. This meant, in many cases, more early voting locations had to be found. Unexpectedly, this put Democrats in a quandary. There are only so many potential voting sites in many districts, and in order to find new locations, local boards of elections have been forced to look outside their reliably Democratic voting areas. Republicans may finally be able to early vote in numbers.
The accompanying video shows the Democrat-led SBOE discussing ways to handle 767 provisional votes that could not be verified as legitimate during the 2012 election. All the votes were cast outside of the county where the voter was legally required to vote. SBOE Director Gary Bartlett is on the right doing most of the talking. He offers many reasons voters might have done this. For example, they didn’t know any better, had moved within 30 days—which would make the vote legal—or they were lying. These votes were important, as one member describes, because there was a recount in process. In one state senate race, candidates were separated by only 21 votes. One of the three Democratic members asks (there was only one Republican on the Board), “But at this point none of these ballots are counted?” Bartlett responds, “Yes they are.” Surprised, the member asks, “For the statewide race?” Bartlett answers, “For every race…” All of the votes were counted even though they were made outside of their legal districts because voting officials did not have sufficient time to check records. What is not stated is that Bartlett, who had been in the post for 20 years, set the deadlines for verifying provisional ballots. Bartlett is also among the NAACP’s list of plaintiff witnesses.
Numbering Provisional Ballots
Here’s another change that is making Democrats scream. The elimination of same-day voter registration and voting abolished a lot of fraud because verifying same-day registrations takes time, and often couldn’t or wouldn’t be completed before the certification date. Votes that couldn’t be verified still counted. But worse for vote fraudsters, the new law has reestablished the requirement to number provisional votes. Why does this matter?
Provisional ballots are supposed to be placed in separate envelopes to be verified following elections. According to Civitas Institute Policy Analyst Susan Myrick, a former Wake County elections official and one of the state’s foremost experts on voting law, what often happened in those minority districts that Democracy NC loves so much was that provisional ballots ended up in the regular voting box instead of in a safe place waiting to be researched and approved.
An innocent mistake, right? No problem. With a numbering system, all one had to do was find the provisional vote in the box, set it aside and verify it. Except that in recent years, Democrats removed the requirement to number provisional votes. That meant, if the vote went into a voting box instead of the envelope set aside for provisional votes, it got counted, period, and there was no way to verify its validity.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is one of many obscure little ways Democrats in North Carolina rigged elections in their favor. In safe Democrat districts, away from the prying eyes of poll watchers, phony provisional ballots easily found their way into the voting box to be counted as legitimate votes. Elections do matter, and North Carolina’s dedicated activists and newly-installed political leaders deserve credit for seeking to restore integrity to the process under a tidal wave of hate-filled invective and frivolous lawsuits launched by a bunch of sore losers.
This article was originally posted at the Accuracy in Media website.
President Barack Obama has not enjoyed many successes in his five-plus years in office, though the number of mistakes, scandals, and total failures continue to mount: Syria’s civil war continues unabated. A terrorist released from Guantanamo Bay is currently leading the radical Islamist ISIS group invading Iraq. Lois Lerner’s IRS scandal grows more damning with each new revelation. Obamacare suffers one legal defeat after another, with more likely in the offing.
The long litany of Obama’s problems has led an increasing number to wonder at what such an ineffectual person is doing occupying the Oval Office. Some have gone so far as to call for his impeachment.
Adding his name to the list of those who question whether Barack Obama is equal to the task of leading the free world is Retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Dan Hampton, who in the discussion of another crisis–Russia’s adventurism in the Ukraine–dismisses the president as not even worth talking about.
Retired Air Force Lt. Colonel and author of “Viper Pilot: A Memoir of Air Combat,” Dan Hampton, ripped President Obama on Wednesday’s “Hannity” on the Fox News Channel.
“I don’t want to get into Barack Obama and the White House. He’s clearly incompetent and it’s a waste of time” Hampton declared.
He also pointed out that finding an individual who could use the missile used to shoot down the airliner would not be difficult because “Ukraine was part of the USSR for the entire time there was a USSR. So finding somebody in the rebel separatist forces that had been trained on [the missile that shot down the Malaysia Airlines flight] isn’t going to be a far stretch. So I don’t see any smoking gun there.”
Conspiracy theories regarding President Obama and his execution of his liberal agenda abound. Some undoubtedly make more sense than others, but all imply his competence–that he knows, in short, what he’s doing and how to do it.
Each new revelation of this president’s actions, combined with his lack of leadership on the world scene, seems to call that claim into greater question.
Regardless of whether by calculation or clumsiness, there can be no doubt that America and most Americans are worse off than they were when Barack Obama took office in 2008.
Please share this article if you agree that President Barack Obama is incompetent and unequal to the task of leading the greatest nation in the world.
All this talk of Republicans on the verge of impeaching President Barack Obama is nonsense, stoked by Democrats and a few wistful conservatives who dream aloud about what, in a constitutional republic, should actually happen to a lawless president.
With Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) running the U.S. Senate, however, it’s not going to happen right now, regardless of the clear merit. If the U.S. House passed an impeachment resolution, Reid would give it no more respect than a used tissue – after waving it around to whip up the party’s base.
House Speaker John Boehner has said this clearly to no good effect other than to provide more ammo to the Left. His denials have had roughly the same impact as when Richard Nixon assured us, “I’m not a crook.” It’s never good to repeat something that your opponents want to pin on you.
But now we have to listen to revisionist history on top of all this.
U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) impugned the motives of Mr. Boehner for bringing to a floor vote last Wednesday a resolution to sue Mr. Obama for usurping powers delegated by the Constitution to Congress. The measure passed on a party line vote of 225 to 221.
“I ask my colleagues to oppose this resolution for it is in fact a veiled attempt for impeachment and it undermines the law that allows a president to do his job,” Ms. Jackson Lee said, reading from the North Korean Constitution. Just kidding about that last part.
She noted, as reported by the Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross, that Democrats who were upset over the war in Iraq “did not seek an impeachment of President Bush, because as an executive, he had his authority. President Obama has the authority.”
To do what? Anything he wants, apparently.
Ms. Jackson Lee seems to have forgotten that she was one of 11 Democrat co-sponsors of a resolution introduced by U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) in June 2008, entitled, ”Impeaching George W. Bush, President of the United States, of high crimes and misdemeanors.”
If you don’t think that was about impeachment, I have some cool, arid, mountainous, seaside property to sell you in Ms. Jackson Lee’s Houston, Texas district.
Just because the impeachment bill didn’t go anywhere doesn’t mean Ms. Jackson Lee can rewrite history, even if that’s her hobby. In January, she said that Americans have done little to help the poor, and that the word “welfare” should be replaced by “transitional living fund.”
As noted on the website DiscovertheNetworks.org, on other occasions, she declared in 2005 that the United States has been a constitutional republic for 400 years (not 217 years), and that astronaut Neil Armstrong planted an American flag on Mars (not the moon).
She outdid herself back in 2010, when she took to the floor to tell fellow congressmen that, in Vietnam, “Victory had been achieved. Today we have two Vietnams, side by side, North and South, exchanging and working. We may not agree with all that North Vietnam is doing, but they are living in peace. I would look for a better human rights record for North Vietnam, but they are living side by side.”
The North won the war in 1975 and tucked the South into the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1976.
On the bright side, at least Rep. Jackson Lee knows that Vietnam is a country or two. Many graduates today think that “Vietnamese” is merely a type of ethnic food.
Speaking of the concept of “victory,” I’d like to go retro for a moment and take issue with something regarded for decades in the popular and political culture as really clever. In 1966, U.S. Sen. George D. Aiken, a liberal Republican from Vermont, suggested that the United States should declare victory in Vietnam and leave. That sage advice has been repeated ad nauseum over the years.
I bet the immediate victims of the communist takeover or the hundreds of thousands of boat people who fled are not laughing. To be fair to Sen. Aiken, what he actually said was far more nuanced:
“The United States could well declare unilaterally … that we have ‘won’ in the sense that our armed forces are in control of most of the field and no potential enemy is in a position to establish its authority over South Vietnam. … It may be a far-fetched proposal, but nothing else has worked.”
Even before Twitter, this half-serious analysis became “declare victory and pull out” – the all-purpose, smart aleck answer to what America should have done. In fact, it’s still being used in reference to Iraq, which is descending into murderous madness. Are we laughing yet?
The same month that Ms. Jackson Lee made her gaffe about Vietnam, she spoke at an NAACP meeting where, as “Gateway Pundit” Glenn Reynolds reports, she derided Tea Party members as racists, saying:
“All those who wore [Klansman] sheets a long time ago have now lifted them off and started wearing [applause], uh, clothing, uh, with a name, say, I am part of the Tea Party.”
Well, this fits President Obama’s supporters’ mantra that anyone opposing his authoritarianism or disastrous foreign policies is a hater.
Responding to the House vote to sue him, Mr. Obama actually told Republicans, “just stop hatin’ all the time.”
Whatever else that is, it’s not presidential. It’s right down there with Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. warning Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert at a hearing, “you don’t want to go there, buddy.”
In a few years, Ms. Jackson Lee will probably tell us that the two men had been discussing vacation plans.
Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.com, where this article was originally posted.
A big majority of Americans say Israel is justified in its response to Hamas, but a CNN/ORC poll shows revealing ideological differences in attitudes toward the Middle East.
Among Republicans, 73% stand with Israel, and among Independents that support remains strong at 56%. But among Democrats, only a minority – 45% – feels the Jewish state is justified in its military response in Gaza to stop rocket attacks and terror tunnels.
This attitude indicates that liberals have not only lost touch with public opinion but they’ve disconnected from reality. If Dems withhold their high-minded approval to a measured, targeted mission to prevent rocket assaults and to block kidnapping missions through the terror tunnels, then what Israeli response would they accept and recommend? Do they expect the Jewish state to absorb countless missile attacks without complaint, and to accept terrorist invasion of their towns and farms, in order to impress the enlightened souls of the international community with their moral superiority? At what point would Democrats deem a military reaction appropriate? After 1,000 rocket attacks? Or 5,000?
This is insanity, of course. Across the spectrum, Americans who back Israel outnumber those who don’t by nearly two-to-one (60-34%) but the reaction of demented Democrats reflects the leftist embrace of moral equivalence- their rejection of clear distinctions between right and wrong. Liberals love to prance and preen, advertising their own above-the-fray arrogance by citing imperfection on all sides. But there’s a difference between imperfection and painful mistakes in the fog of battle, and deliberate evil and blood lust.
Fortunately, conservatives feel far more comfortable with moral absolutes, and so rally to the support of Israel in this hour of need. Yes, sometimes distinctions are obvious between right and wrong, while some conflicts do come down to a struggle behind good and evil. American Jews, who fatuously gave 70% and more of their support to Barack Obama in both his presidential races, should keep this contrast in mind on the next Election Day.
Those tender souls who believe that the two sides share joint responsibility for the civilian casualties must meanwhile confront two questions.
First, what could Hamas do to stop the violence immediately? The answer should be obvious: If they halted their rocket attacks, and cooperated with destroying or incapacitating the terror tunnels into Israel, this brutal war would end quickly. Israel has already accepted two cease fires, one sponsored by Egypt and the Arab League, the other by the UN. Hamas rejected both offers.
Which raises the second question: what must Israel do, considering the Hamas intransigence, to bring the killing to an end?
For those who criticize current Israeli policies, what plan of action would advance the cause of peace more effectively? If Israel rewarded Hamas with some face-saving concession for the war the terrorists started, it would only encourage more wars-of-choice by the Gaza gang. If the world accedes to their demands because Hamas unleashed an orgy of deliberate destruction, that makes violent outbursts all the more likely in the future.
Rula Jabreal on MSNBC and other public apologists for murderous jihad claim that American media tilt overwhelmingly toward Israel. But the only positive treatment of the embattled Jewish state stems from its ability to describe war aims while no one on the other side will explain the aims of Hamas. Instead of explaining why Gaza thugs opted to launch a major war, Hamas sympathizers cite meaningless and false clichés about the way that pressure on any population necessarily generates violence and hatred. Yes, 100 rocket attacks a day may express such hatred but it has no purpose whatever other than satisfying the bloodlust of crazed killers and fanatics.
In this contest, the distinction between the two sides isn’t fuzzy, difficult or obscure. Israel is fighting to put an end to violence; Hamas is fighting to perpetuate and intensify terror aimed at random civilian targets. If Hamas disarms, there’s a chance that brutality would give way to some form of wary coexistence. If Israel disarms, it’s obvious that her residents would bear the brunt of increased attacks and looming disaster.
The moral contrast remains so clear that only the most stubborn and blinded relativist could refuse to acknowledge it. One war aim is admirable. The other is evil.
It shouldn’t be difficult for any individual or organization to decide which of the two sides deserves passionate support.
This article was originally published at TruthRevolt.org.
Despite increasing criticism from the mainstream media over how President Barack Obama has responded to the downed Malaysian plane and the latest conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, the White House remains defiant, arguing that his response has been appropriate.
Rather than issue a statement immediately after Malaysian flight MH17 was shot down by pro-Russian separatists while flying over Ukraine, Obama continued on with his planned events, which included grabbing a cheeseburger at The Charcoal Pit in Delaware and fundraisers in New York.
When asked by ABC’s Jonathan Karl if this was, in hindsight, a mistake, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that it wasn’t. He said that they wouldn’t have hesitated to make a change to the President’s schedule, if necessary, in order for him to attend to an urgent priority and fulfill his responsibilities as Commander in Chief.
Last week, White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri told The New York Times’Michael Shearer that “It is rarely a good idea to return to the White House just for show, when the situation can be handled responsibly from the road.” She said that abrupt changes to the President’s schedule can unduly alarm the public or create a false sense of crisis.
The National Journal’sRon Fournier, however, isn’t convinced by the White House ‘s explanation:
First, the phrase ‘just for show’ is indicative of the Obama White House conceit that their guy is above politics. The fact is, all presidents do things just for show, because the office is inherently political, and one of the levers of power can be found in the public theater. … The hypocrisy is staggering. How is playing pool and drinking beer with the governor of Colorado not ‘just for show?’ Obama and his team consistently respond to criticism by dismissing the media’s focus on ‘optics,’ even as they craft and control the President’s image more aggressively than perhaps any previous White House.
Second, while Palmieri is correct that gutting a presidential schedule is rarely a good idea, there are times when it is. You could make an argument that Thursday was one such time, when the Gaza Strip erupted with violence and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s allies shot a passenger plane from the sky. A president can bring calm and clarity to a confusing situation, or he can add to public anxiety.
Fournier is right. With Obama’s approval ratings in the tank, he had a golden opportunity to provide some reassurance and show some true leadership. But instead, he blew it by placing politics above everything else, only reinforcing the belief that he is increasingly out of touch.
This article was originally posted at the Accuracy in Media website.